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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 5, 2007
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    New Hampshire
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    1,190

    Default Losing the shoulder in leg yield.....suggestions?

    I often seem to eventually lose the outside shoulder when asking for a leg yield with my mare. She may start off straight, but then fades to lead with the outside shoulder by the time we reach the wall. Her inside hind is stepping well under, I can see it in the mirrors, but when she falls out with her front end, I can't seem to get it back again.....half halt, outside leg, outside rein...I can't seem to coordintate the correction without making her more crooked......how should I ask her to steady her shoulder and not fall out?

    Are there any exercises that we could work on to improve our straightenss during the leg yield?

    UPDATE: 3/27/2009

    First, I really want to thank everyone who posted for their hints and suggestions! I rode the mare last night, and tried to put into effect some of the exercises mentioned in the posts below. Wow! I had quite a few "why didn't I think of that" moments last night.......

    The exercise through which I felt the most difference is the leg yielding from the wall to the Q-line....straighten.....and then leg yield back to the wall. I positioned my body as suggested, making sure I was straight, looking (and feeling) where I wanted to go.....and focused on riding mares body (not her head) and voila! The leg yield felt like they are supposed to! Mare really seemed to enjoy the exercise!

    I will work more on this, building her strength so she can eventually go to the C-line from the wall and back again. It is hard to do in the arena I truck in to as it's a bit short, not regulation size. By the time we LY to C-line.....there's not enough ring to LY back to the wall.

    So, thank-you very much, everyone. I really appreciate the tips!
    Last edited by Daatje; Mar. 27, 2009 at 09:02 AM.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 10, 2005
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    in the saddle
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    4,149

    Default

    You should think about controlling the horse’s hind legs with your legs more, rather than controlling your horse’s shoulders with your reins. It’s almost like magic, when you start focusing more on the hind legs, the front end falls in to its place by itself

    You should try and gain control of the shoulders: straight then shoulder-for, straight then shoulder-for

    You should gain more fitness for your horse so he can hold the difficult exercise for the extended period of the time: as soon as you loose the correct alignment of the leg yield, get out of it by going straight or doing a circle or doing the lengthening out of it, only after 3=5 strides come back to the leg yield and continue. Do not try to fix the alignment, since you will make it only more crooked, not straight and will resort to the hand riding.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2009
    Posts
    776

    Default

    How straight is your horse? Try this: trot straight ahead into a mirror - preferably off the track - when the shoulders are in the middle of the hind, then you are straight. Now ask for a canter transition. Did the shoulders stay in the middle? try in the other direction. is one way easier?

    If the horse is really crocked in the trot-canter transitions make it easier. with trot-walk-trot transitons into the mirror. then serpentines making sure the horse has no rhythm or balances changes as it moves between loops.

    So to get to the question at hand. It sounds like you are asking for a little too much - either too many steps or too steep. try 3 -4 steps leg yield then 4 steps STRAIGHT then maybe 3-4 step jeg yield in the opposite direction then STRAIGHT. Not too steep in the leg yield



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2008
    Location
    Central Oklahoma
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    3,560

    Default

    One thing I will check is, are you yourself straight? Many riders (including myself) try so hard on the maneuvers that they get crooked-er and crooked-er themselves. If you are crooked, your horse cannot be straight.

    One thing that help is, leg yield a few steps, then go straight forward, then leg yield for more steps, then go straight again. This tests whether your horse is trully leg yielding, or he is simply drifting. It also tests your refinement of your aids and your control. You may even see whether you can leg yield, go straight, change bend, leg yield the other way, and then repeat.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 5, 2007
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    New Hampshire
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    Default

    Awesome, thanks guys! Yes, I like the idea of asking for a few steps at a time....and of asking for a few steps in one direction and then a circle, or a few steps in the other direction. I have been asking for the whole thing (from c-line to wall) at once which is probably too much for her. I've also found that she's starting to anticipate the exercise so changing things around and asking less at once sounds very good to me.

    Yes, I'm sure I'm getting crooked too.....which I know makes doing the exercise impossible! Must be more aware of that and use the mirrors....

    I will try the suggestions given so far and let you know how the mare responds.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 13, 2001
    Location
    usa
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    6,140

    Default

    Do L.Y. head to the wall to understand it. Then put poles on a long diagonal line and do the same thing. PULSE the inside aids.
    I.D.E.A. yoda



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2003
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    6,686

    Default

    Try this one.

    Leg yield from the right to left from the corner before the long side to the centerline at X. Then make a 10 meter circle to the left, then resume the leg yield from right to left at x until you reach the long side just before the corner tracking right. Then repeat going the other way.

    This exercise grabs the left shoulder and brings it in at x to bend on the left 10 meter circle, and then you should be able to maintain it again after the circle when you pick up the leg yield again.

    Make sure that in the leg yield you have both hands positioned toward the side that you are moving away from. So in the above example, both of your hands will be positioned to the right (without crossing the neck with your left hand.)
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 5, 2007
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    New Hampshire
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    Try this one.

    Leg yield from the right to left from the corner before the long side to the centerline at X. Then make a 10 meter circle to the left, then resume the leg yield from right to left at x until you reach the long side just before the corner tracking right. Then repeat going the other way.

    This exercise grabs the left shoulder and brings it in at x to bend on the left 10 meter circle, and then you should be able to maintain it again after the circle when you pick up the leg yield again.

    Make sure that in the leg yield you have both hands positioned toward the side that you are moving away from. So in the above example, both of your hands will be positioned to the right (without crossing the neck with your left hand.)
    Another good suggestion....thanks!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2005
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    15,296

    Default

    read this 1st page click links on page one and click on 1st link extra links at bottom
    http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...d.php?t=178116
    its all relevant make sure you read links 1 -3 as this about bits and bridles and how they work
    and how your hands are plus little tip you looking tomuch in the mirror then you will be more crocked
    if you cant go striaght as where you look your hands will follow and where your hands go the horses head goes then his body follows through so dont look, but look between the horses ears



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 27, 2007
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    Behind the Orange Curtain
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    9,694

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    Try this one.

    Leg yield from the right to left from the corner before the long side to the centerline at X. Then make a 10 meter circle to the left, then resume the leg yield from right to left at x until you reach the long side just before the corner tracking right. Then repeat going the other way.

    This exercise grabs the left shoulder and brings it in at x to bend on the left 10 meter circle, and then you should be able to maintain it again after the circle when you pick up the leg yield again.

    Make sure that in the leg yield you have both hands positioned toward the side that you are moving away from. So in the above example, both of your hands will be positioned to the right (without crossing the neck with your left hand.)
    This is great, but I think I just tied my brain into a knot trying to figure it out. Neat exercise, though! Can't wait to try it!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 13, 2000
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    1,847

    Default

    Not so sure I'd agree with the description of straightness. The purpose of shoulder-fore is to put the horse in 'relative straightness,' which is the 'straightness' we as riders can work with. 'Absolute straightness' is what, if I understand what was posted, was actually described and is the straightness horses use in the wild, for maximum propulsion and what race horses pretty much do.

    I'd think you'd want to head for relative straightness, achieved with the shoulder-fore, in which the inside shoulder (front hoof) is aligned with the inside haunch (back hoof). From there, proceed with your ly exercises.

    Also, given the controversy over the strain of the Leg yield on the horse's body, do you need to school such precision in the ly?



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2000
    Posts
    24,408

    Default

    Outside rein controls the shoulders in leg yield. If the shoulder leads, you are not using your outside rein effectively.

    "the controversy over the strain of the Leg yield on the horse's body"

    I don't really believe that's a valid controversy
    Last edited by slc2; Mar. 24, 2009 at 08:24 PM.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec. 25, 2008
    Posts
    23

    Default

    An exercise to help control the shoulders - maybe when you feel that you are starting to lose the shoulder, straighten, ride a forward straight a few steps and then leg yield in the opposite direction and most importantly, end any leg yield with straight steps. I find this really gives you a sense of when you ARE straight instead of realizing it AFTER you have lost control of the shoulders. Works for me and my uber crooked guy.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 5, 2007
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    New Hampshire
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    Default

    Thanks everyone!



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